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 PRESS RELEASE: House Committee on Resources 6/20/06

NOAA status of stocks report shows progress,
sustainability in America's fisheries

Washington - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released its annual report to Congress on the status of U.S. marine fisheries for 2005. NOAA assesses the status of all major stocks that are targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries, and represents the best scientific information available on the status of marine fisheries in the United States.

The report shows the majority of stocks with known status are healthy, with 74 percent that are currently not overfished and 81 percent that are currently not subject to overfishing.

"I'm encouraged by the news that the Regional Fishery Management Councils have shown continued progress toward rebuilding overfished stocks and ending overfishing," Resources Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.) said. "Now it's time for Congress to give the Councils the additional tools they need to continue this upward and positive trend. We can do that by getting a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act to the President before the year is out. The Senate did its job yesterday, and I'm working to make sure the House does its part by passing H.R. 5018.

"The Regional Councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service have made considerable progress in the past eight years," Pombo continued. "Each Council has taken measures that suit its region to effectively end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks.  H.R. 5018, the bill I sponsored along with Reps. Barney Frank and Don Young, will continue this regional management flexibility. While there is still much more to be done to address overfishing and rebuilding of overfished stocks, we cannot forget or ignore the ongoing accomplishments. I'm confident the components of our bill will help each Council to continue to function just as efficiently and effectively." 

While the status of many minor stocks is still unknown, NOAA Fisheries Service continues to increase the number of assessed stocks each year. For example, in 2005 they conducted assessments on 20 additional species that had never before been evaluated.

In cases where a problem has been identified, NOAA Fisheries Service is working with the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) to end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks. In fact, the Councils have already taken some actions to address newly-listed stocks.

Click here for more information on the report.




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